Although in many people’s minds the word curry is identifiable with India, Asian curry dishes are a staple in many parts of the world, with each country having its own twist on the comfort food. Recognised by their sensual aromas, Thai curries typically contain coconut milk and use lighter herbs than the thicker Indian curries. Japanese Katsu curry uses a heavier, sweeter sauce that’s poured over breadcrumbed meat. Here are four popular Asian curry dishes that are sure to tantalise your taste buds:
Japanese Katsu Curry
Japanese curry is often milder in flavour compared to other Asian curry dishes, making it a great option for those who are not particularly keen on spicy food. Another differentiation from other curries is that the meat is breaded and fried before having a luxurious sauce coated over it.
This dish is thick and creamy, warm and filling, and a perfect mix of crunch, spice and sauce. You may have experienced the pleasure of tucking into a katsu curry at your local Wagamama restaurant – follow this katsu curry recipe to recreate that special feeling and delight your dinner guests.
Katsu curry is made with a breaded, deep-fried cutlet of meat or seafood served atop a bed of rice and accompanied by a thick, curry sauce. The cutlet is typically made with pork (tonkatsu), but chicken and beef variations also exist. The dish can be created using minimal ingredients commonly found in a UK household; breadcrumbs, pork, egg, rice, onion, ginger, carrot and spring onion to garnish.
Indian Butter Chicken
Indian butter chicken, also known as murgh makhani, is a popular Indian dish made with tender, marinated chicken pieces cooked in a rich and creamy tomato-based sauce. The dish gets its name from the use of butter and cream in the sauce, which gives it a velvety texture and rich, indulgent flavour.
The chicken is typically marinated in a mixture of yoghurt and spices, such as garam masala, cumin, and coriander, before being grilled or baked. It is then added to the sauce, which is made with a blend of tomatoes, butter, cream, and a variety of aromatic spices. The sauce is simmered until it thickens and the flavours meld together, and the finished dish is garnished with fresh coriander and served with basmati rice or naan bread.
Indian butter chicken was invented by Punjabi restaurateurs. According to popular belief, a Punjabi chef living in New Delhi was experimenting with butter-fried chicken and created a taste so mouthwatering he decided to give it a name: murgh makhani. Today, the dish is a popular choice at Indian restaurants around the world and is enjoyed by all generations.
Thai Green Curry
One of the defining characteristics of Thai green curry is the use of fresh green chilli peppers, which give the dish its signature colour. The Thai name for the dish is ‘kaeng khiao wan’ which means ‘sweet green curry’. Red and green curry pastes are nearly identical, but the key difference is that dried red chillies are used in a red curry as opposed to fresh green chillies.
The signature flavour of Thai green curry is made with a blend of green chilli peppers, garlic, shallots, and lemongrass, which are ground into a paste and combined with coconut milk to create flavourful and aromatic sauce. The dish is typically made with a protein such as chicken, beef, or tofu, and served with a mix of vegetables such as sweet peppers, aubergine, and bamboo shoots. The curry is typically served over a bed of steamed jasmine rice and is garnished with fresh coriander and a sprinkle of Thai basil.
It is certainly worth putting the time in to make the paste from scratch rather than using a jar mix. The heat level of the curry can be adjusted by altering the amount of paste in the recipe – many Thai chefs’ assume that foreigners can’t handle the level of spice they’d use at home.
Rendang is an Indonesian meat dish which originated among the Minangkabau people in West Sumatra. The dish is famous for its long cooking procedure and is often compared to Indian curry because of its thickness and unique flavours. Rendang is actually a philosophical term that refers to a special process, which makes beef tender, dry, and flavorful.
This slow-cooked curry is a staple in Indonesian cuisine and is made with tender pieces of beef that are simmered in a rich and delicious coconut milk based sauce. It is flavoured with a blend of spices, including turmeric, ginger, and chilli peppers, and is typically served with rice or noodles.
These are just a few of the many delicious Asian curry dishes that are enjoyed across continents. Whether you prefer a mild and savoury Japanese curry or a rich and creamy Indian butter chicken, there is an Asian curry dish out there for everyone to enjoy.